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Restructuring A Product Team

Adi Zellner

GM, Head of Mobile at Wix.com

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Problem

"We were in charge of a mobile platform app that contained 20 sub-products under the umbrella of the app. How is the best way to structure a team to cohesively work on the umbrella project but also perform detailed work on each of the sub projects?"

Actions taken

"I first sliced the umbrella product into sub-products based on the user intent. For example, one product may be used differently. Some users may use it to manage events and some users may use it to manage blogs. These would be two separate sub-products."

"Then, I tried to keep teams as small as I could. In general, each team had one product manager, a couple designers, and a couple engineers. Each of these small teams work independently for a sub-product."

Lessons learned

"A challenge with this method was keeping all teams on the same page regarding long term goals and vision. We tried to mitigate this by having biweekly all team meetings. This was a forum for sub teams to see what their counterparts were doing and see how their sub-product fits in to the overall vision."

"Additionally, we learned that it is counterproductive to have multiple new product managers at a given time. Since product managers have so much breadth, it takes a long time to get up to speed. Instead of having multiple new PMs at one time, we found that it was a better fix to give PM duties to a designer or engineer on the product until there was a good opportunity to hire and onboard a new PM."


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Adi Zellner

GM, Head of Mobile at Wix.com


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